The president of the Iowa Farm Bureau leaves tomorrow for the World Trade Organization conference in Mexico. Craig Lang, who farms near the Poweshiek County town of Brooklyn, says Iowa farmers have learned they must be involved in world trade efforts since 95-percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States. Last year, Iowa ranked 3rd nationally in ag exports at three-point-two billion dollars, which was six-percent of the U.S. total. Lang says he’d like to see Iowa develop closer ties with Japan, but first that island nation needs to lower its tax on imported goods. Lang says Japan’s a good market for crops and livestock but their tariff is 51-percent, making it uncompetitive for Iowa producers. He says trade relations are improving between the U.S. and the European Union, which he says promises to open the door to more of Iowa’s produce and value-added goods. The U.S. tariff on imports is 12-percent while most other nations are higher, the E-U is 31-percent. Lang wants to see Iowa getting better access and “a fair shake” in China, Japan, the Pacific rim countries and in Europe. The W-T-O talks in Cancun run tomorrow thorough Sunday.
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